In vitro and in vivo antifungal activity of plant extracts against common phytopathogenic fungi
Keywords:fungicidal activity, plant extracts, in vitro assay, in vivo assay, plant pathogens, crop protection products
Natural crop protection products are gaining popularity due to consumer demands and long-term toxicity of chemical pesticides. Extracts of nine locally available plants species were screened for their fungicidal activity against four widespread fungal phytopathogens. Examination of the effect of the plant extracts on mycelial growth was done in vitro using liquid culture medium. During this assay, all tested plant extracts showed significant antifungal activity ranging from 24% up to 60% decrease in mycelial growth compared to the blank treatment. Extracts of Fallopia japonica and Artemisia vulgaris caused the greatest decrease in mycelial growth. Four plant extracts were used for an in vivo assay on cherry tomatoes. All selected plant extracts managed to limit fungal growth of a phytopathogen in vivo. However, no extract managed to visually inhibit growth of all four fungal strains. The in vitro results propose plant extracts to be a promising alternative to hazardous chemical fungicides. While the in vivo assay was less persuasive, an effective match between a plant extract and a single phytopathogen appears to be achievable in the near future.
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